The rupee rose for the sixth straight session on Friday, rising by 8 paise to close at more than three- and-a-half-month high against the US currency on dollar selling by exporters and bullish equity markets.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the rupee closed higher by 8 paise at 44.67/68 a dollar.
Persistent selling of dollars by exporters and some banks helped the rupee to remain firm, dealers said.
"Rupee traded in Greens throughout the day supported by strong stock market and weakening of the dollar in the overseas market. Strong Capital inflows also helped in the strengthening of rupee," Alpari Forex (india) CEO Brahmbhatt said.
"However dollar demand by oil importing companies acted as a deterrent and prevented a further rise," he added.
The domestic unit opened strong at 44.64/65 a dollar from yesterday's close of 44.75/76.
Later, it moved in a limited range between a high of 44.60, which was also nearly 4-1/2-month intra-day peak, and a low of 44.70 before closing at 44.67/68. Last time, it had finished at 44.64/65 on December 7, 2010.
"The trading range for the USD/INR will be between 44.50- 45.00 in the next session," Brahmbhatt said.
Continuing its rally for fourth straight day, the Indian benchmark Sensex today shot up by a whopping nearly 465 points or 2.53 per cent, mainly supporting the rupee rise.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) pumped in USD 234.31 million in last three days since March 22 and looking at the bullish stocks, dealers expected more to come.
Meanwhile, US crude oil was trading higher near USD 106 a barrel while Brent crude was quoting near USD 116 a barrel in London today. The dollar index of six major currencies was up by 0.04 per cent in European market.
The rupee premium for the forward dollar closed steady to firm on stray paying pressure from banks and corporates. The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in August ended at its overnight closing level of 138-140 paise.
Far-forward contracts maturing in February, however, settled up at 279-281 paise from 276-279 paise previously.
The Reserve Bank of India has fixed the reference rate for the dollar at Rs 44.65 and the euro at Rs 63.28.
The rupee remained firm to end at Rs 71.87/89 against the pound sterling from Thursday's close of Rs 72.44/46 and also improved further against the yen to Rs 55.00/02 per 100 yen from Rs 55.29/31 previously.
It, however, fell back slightly against the euro to Rs 63.30/32 against its last close of Rs 63.28/30.